Like us, you must have encountered a few immunity myths in the last 12 months. In this article, our friends from iveeapp.com take a look at some common immunity myths (and truths) - do any of them sound familiar?
How Does the Immune System Work?
Being healthy is a top priority in our lives right now…and almost everyone’s best friend is their immune system.
The immune system is a complex system of cells and molecules that protects our bodies from outside invaders like infections, bacteria, and viruses, called antigens.
These antigens attach themselves to receptors on immune cells, which then triggers the immune system response.
Then, the immune system stores the antigens’ DNA and makeup before creating, distributing, and storing white blood cells that fight these bacteria and viruses.
Innate vs Adaptive Immune System
The immune system is actually made up of two subdivisions: the innate and adaptive immune systems.
The innate system is more general. It provides a non-specific defense against germs and outside bacteria that enter through the skin or digestion.
The adaptive immune system is more specific.
It creates antibodies to fight specific germs and viruses that enter the body.
This is the immune system that stores the DNA information of certain antigens to create specific antibodies to fight them off.
Finding the Truths from Immunity Myths!
This past year, we’ve been bombarded with quick fixes that claim to boost your immunity to the moon and back.
There are a lot of myths going around on how to help boost your immune system. So, let’s take a dive into some of them:
Myth One: Exercise has no effect and may even weaken the immune system.
Truth: Exercise lowers blood pressure, helps keep body weight under control, and can protect you from diseases. It does this by lowering the levels of hormonal cortisol in your body. Therefore, exercising actually boosts your immune system.
Myth Two: The more active your immune system is, the more healthy you are.
Truth: A hyperactive immune system is related to many different conditions like allergic reactions and underlying diseases such as diabetes and lupus.
Myth Three: Stress doesn’t impact the immune system
Truth: Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which changes the way your white blood cells react to the viruses and bacteria that enter the body. Therefore, stress reduces the body’s ability to fight off diseases.
Myth Four: Gargling salt water or vinegar will kill viruses
Truth: Gargling salt water, vinegar, or other mixtures won’t kill anything, but it may soothe a sore throat.
Myth Five: Being born with a good immune system will prevent you from getting sick.
Truth: Besides the fact that the immune system, unfortunately, weakens with age, there is no certainty that you won’t get sick.
What Can You Do To Boost Your Immunity?
So, all in all, there are a lot of immunity myths floating around on the internet, but there are ways that never fail to boost your immune system:
- Eat healthily
- Take vitamins and supplements as recommended
- Get proper sleep
- Avoid smoking
- Wash hands consistently
- Exercise regularly
- Take steps to reduce stress
Strong immunity is built through balanced, healthful decisions.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your immune system.
Taking care of your immune system takes time. Self-care isn’t just about the skin anymore. The inside of your body needs some love too.
At a Glance - Immunity Myths
|Myths and Facts About Immune System|
|One||Exercise has no effect and may even weaken the immune system|
|Two||The more active your immune system is, the healthy you are.|
|Three||Stress doesn’t impact the immune system|
|Four||Gargling salt water or vinegar will kill viruses|
|Five||Being born with a good immune system will prevent you from getting sick|
What other immunity myths and facts about immune system have you heard recently? Let us know what's popular in your part of the world by sharing in the comments section below.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
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